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Royalty Free Music - Ludwig Van Beethoven

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Ludwig Van Beethoven- Biography

Ludwig van Beethoven was a visionary composer, who brought the world of music out of the "classical" period into the age of the "romantic". He lived a life of transition in a time of European political and cultural change, and ignored the boundaries of conventional musical form to create new and masterful works to challenge and amaze his audiences. This greatness was achieved despite a lifetime of struggle against illness and difficulty.

Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 17th, 1770. His Father was, from all accounts, given to excessive drinking and violent bouts of temper, but he was devoted to his mother. As a child he demonstrated his potential and studied piano, viola and organ, and had his first published compositions at the age of ten. There are differing views as to what occured during a visit to meet Mozart in 1787, but it is certain that Mozart's music had a great influence on Beethoven, and he even adapted part of Mozart's 40th symphony to include in his own Symphony No. 5.

Beethoven moved to Vienna in 1792 to study composition with Haydn, who seems to have subsequently recognised the import of the young composers move away from the old rules of form and counterpoint to a new, freer age of writing, mirroring the great political upheaval brought about by the French revolution. From 1801 Beethoven experienced the first signs of an increasing deafness accompanied by tinnitus, and he abandoned his public virtuoso piano performances in favour of composition, at which he worked until his death in Vienna on March 16th 1827.

His time as a composer is generally thought of in three periods, reflecting his move from classical to romantic. His "early" period (1802-3) brought Symphonies 1 & 2, some string quartets and piano sonatas, including the "Moonlight" sonata. Following the increase of his deafness, Beethoven's music became more titanic and heroic, and this was his "middle" period (1803-14) and contains amongst other works Symphonies 3-8 and the opera "Fidelio". In his late period (1815 onwards) the music moves completely to a more "romantic" style, and is intensely profound and expressive. Beethoven was profoundly deaf by 1823, but his remarkable and astonishing works from this period include "Missa Solemnis" and his 9th Symphony. At the conclusion of it's premier Beethoven was gently turned to face the rapturous applause of the audience, of which he was entirely unaware.

His music is performed world-wide and features in the soundtracks or more than 250 films. It resonates with us today as strongly as it did with his first audiences nearly 200 years ago.

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